I’ve been lucky! I was invited to teach couples dance at five of the six dance and music camps in my summer schedule (AZ, NM, MA, CA, MA, AZ) and was invited to give a day-long waltz workshop in Tucson, AZ! I can hardly believe it. To Eric Black and Diane Zingale, who both believed in me to lead couples dance at AmWeek 2011 and got me started (and invited me back for AmWeek 2012), I have much gratitude! Thanks also to all the organizers (Deb Comly, Lisa Bertelli, Chuck Gordon, and Eric Black) who trusted me to create a fun and engaging learning experience.
A better Hambo workshop
Chuck Gordon invited me to teach Hambo with Heather Carmichael at Pinewoods, Swing into Summer. The two one-hour sessions, and the support of several dance angels (experienced hambo-ers), absolutely helped the success of the workshop. My experience is that a single one-hour workshop (or even 1:15) isn’t quite enough to get the dance into the feet of the dancers. But one hour to get solid on the components and their synthesis (Dreyfus model levels 2 or 3, advanced beginner or competency), a night of rest and maybe practicing the turn in free moments, then a second day of dancing over and over with many dancers gives enough time and thought to ascend to level 4 (proficiency). I think even two 45-minute session are preferable to one 1:30 workshop or even a single 2-hour workshop.
From the experience, I still feel engaged, joyful, and inspired because of the direct and special way I could connect in the community, watch the dancers grow in the two hours, and facilitate the mutual nurturing and compassion between the dancers as many went from “what’s hambo?” to, “let’s dance”!
Heather and I thank Emily Troll, Mary Lea, and Julie Vallimont who played a series of lovely tunes as we all got to dance as a mixer for a solid 40 minutes of the second hour — my most successful hambo workshop!